04/28/2012 - Bridgeview, IL (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Eddie Johnson had a goal and an assist, and Seattle Sounders FC edged the Chicago Fire, 2-1, on Saturday at Toyota Park in Major League Soccer.
Johnson, who returned to MLS this year after a stint in Europe, set up a David Estrada goal in the first half and followed with the match-winning goal in the 67th minute.
Seattle (4-1-1) earned its second positive road result this year, and extended its unbeaten streak away from home to seven games, which includes six wins and a draw dating back to last season.
Chicago (2-2-2), which got a late goal from Marco Pappa, lost at home for the first time this season in three matches.
Estrada opened the scoring in the 39th minute when he took a pass from Johnson and sent a shot off the leg of Chicago defender Arne Friedrich and inside the left post for his team-high fifth goal of the season.
Johnson headed off the post in the 61st, as he came within inches of his first goal, and Pappa had a goal called back for offsides in the 63rd as each squad had a close call.
Seattle followed with the eventual game-winner, as Jhon Kennedy Hurtado turned a rebound on goal and Johnson poked the ball into the net from close range for his first MLS goal since 2007 with Kansas City.
Chicago pulled one goal back in the 89th, as Pappa swung a corner kick in from the right that got caught up in the wind, sailed off the left post and bounced into net.
Seattle held on through six minutes of stoppage time, as it claimed a rematch of last season's U.S. Open Cup final. Sounders FC won its third straight Open Cup last season with a 2-0 win over the Fire.
<< Orioles down Athletics
Baltimore, MD (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Chris Davis belted a solo home run and knocked in four runs while Wei-Yin Chen tossed seven innings of one-run ball as the Orioles downed the Athletics, 10-1, in the middle game of three straigh
<< Ramirez rips walk-off as Marlins down Diamondbacks
Miami, FL (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Logan Morrison tied the game with a home run in the eighth and Hanley Ramirez lined the game-winning RBI single in the ninth as the Miami Marlins rallied for a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturda
<< Santos scores twice to lead United over Dynamo
Washington, D.C. (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Maicon Santos scored twice as D.C. United edged the Houston Dynamo, 3-2, on Saturday at RFK Stadium for its first back- to-back wins in Major League Soccer in three seasons. Santos scored his fifth and s
<< Lester, Red Sox edge White Sox
Chicago, IL (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - The Boston Red Sox didn't need their vaunted offense to carry the load on Saturday as they registered their sixth straight win. Instead they turned to Jon Lester, who outdueled Jake Peavy, and the Red Sox
Beltre, Lewis lift Rangers over Rays >>
Arlington, TX (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Adrian Beltre smacked a three-run home run and Colby Lewis tossed six innings of one-run ball as the Rangers took a 7-2 decision over the Rays in the second of three straight at Rangers Ballpark in Arlingt
Free agent signings: Steed joins Jets; Cameron, Bears a match >>
Philadelphia, PA (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Undrafted free agents started to come to terms with NFL teams shortly after the conclusion of the three-day draft Saturday evening. Furman cornerback Ryan Steed, one of the more surprising undrafted player
Kyle Busch wins fourth straight Richmond spring race >>
Richmond, VA (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Kyle Busch won the spring race at Richmond International Raceway for the fourth year in a row after holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the closing laps of Saturday night's Capital City 400. Busch benef
Hill's brace brings an end to Chivas' road winning streak >>
Commerce City, CO (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Chivas USA's road success came to a crashing halt on Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park as the Goats were handed a heavy 4-0 defeat by the Colorado Rapids. Chivas entered the match havin
Recently I had an email debate with an angry reader who said I did not understand "the science of oddsmaking", as he called it.
He said I was wrong for suggesting oddsmakers care about who wins or loses games.
"Oddsmakers only care about splitting the betting public 50/50 on both sides of the line and keeping the commission (a.k.a. juice)," he wrote.
He might have been right about not understanding "the science of oddsmaking". After all, I'm not an oddsmaker. That said, I stick to my assertion that oddsmakers (a.k.a. sportbooks) often do care about who wins games.
Granted, as a general rule, sportsbooks try to balance their action so that they're not exposed to big losses. However, there are times when this is difficult to pull off, regardless of how much a line has moved. There are also times when that general rule is ignored and a book pursues risk.
Generally speaking, it's safe to say the books in Vegas are risk-adverse. Unlike in the past when the wise guys ruled the town, Vegas is now corporate and the goal of most casinos is to make as much money as possible with as little risk as possible.
Thus, Vegas sportsbooks try everything in their power to balance the action. They're satisfied simply collecting the juice. But these profits are small, especially compared to the take from other casino games, namely slot machines.
Because the profits at Vegas sportsbooks are so small, you could argue that many casinos operate sportsbooks simply as a novelty to keep the tourists happy.
With a growing aversion to risk, it should come as no surprise that Vegas bookmakers have been panicking this NFL season.
Despite huge pointspreads, a disproportionate percentage of bettors are still laying their money on favorites like the Eagles, Colts, Pats and Vikings rather than the dogs (a common trend for the largely recreational bettors that visit Vegas).
And much to the dismay of the books, those favorites are finding ways to cover the thick chalk. In fact, prior to Week 7, the four teams listed above are a combined 16-2-2 (88 percent) against the spread. (The tables turned dramatically in Week 7, but more on that later.)
The result has been an early-season beating for the books, and a bonanza for bettors.
While Vegas increasingly hates risk, it's no longer a major player in the sports betting world. Most of the betting action now takes place offshore where sportsbooks are not as obsessed about balance. In fact, some books encourage exposure to risk because the rewards can be so much bigger.
Consider MySportsbook.com. On its website, the book has odds pages which actually display the amount of action it's getting on games. In other words, you can see how much action the book is taking on both sides of a pointspread, moneyline or over/under.
One look at these numbers and it's obvious MySportsbook.com does not balance every game. In fact, far from it.
Take last weekend's matchup between St. Louis and Miami. By game time on Sunday, 83 percent of the betting action at MySportsbook.com was on the Rams; only 17 percent was on Miami.
What's interesting is that MySportsbook.com opened the pointspread with Miami at +6 1/2. By game time, the spread had lowered to +5.
That goes contrary to the balancing theory. If MySportsbook.com had wanted to balance the action, it would have given Miami more points; instead, it took away 1 1/2. World Series odds are now up as well.
MySportsbook.com exposed itself to even more to risk, and rolled the dice on the underdog Dolphins. Why? I contacted a representative with the book to find out. His answer was simple.
"The line moved early based on 'smart money' from sharp players," said Jeff Gilroy, a spokesperson for the book. "We also knew from early in the week that we would need Miami, therefore (we dropped) the spread to encourage Rams money.
"At the end of the day, we liked the home team."
So the conclusion is this: MySportsbook.com respected the sharp action, and gambled that the sharp bettors had a better take on the game than the recreational bettors, who were hammering the visiting Rams.
In the end, the gamble paid off. Miami, desperate for a win in front of its home fans, pounded the overrated Rams, who are terrible on the road and even worse on grass. Final score: 31-14 Fish.
MySportsbook.com was also heavily exposed on numerous favorites in Week 7, including Philadelphia, Seattle and Denver. All three failed to cover.
The fact that sportsbooks are exposed to risk on certain games is really nothing new. The fact, that Sportsbook.com is willing to show the public where it's exposed is intriguing.
Armed with this type of information, bettors can make more educated wagers. They can get an idea where the sharp money is going and conversely where the public money is headed.
MySportsbook.com is opening up its cashbox, letting bettors look inside and challenging them to take their best shot at grabbing the cash.
To visit this online football betting got to MySportsbook.com for all your football betting odds needs. Mysportsbook.com online sportsbook accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards.